How would you know if you have Rhythm

Just starting on drums.... How do you know what your Rhythmic abilities are? Can you tell by a couple leasons?

Im sure this dictates how well someone progresses correct?
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Have you done much work with a metronome? It will tell you a lot. If you don't have one then you should download or purchase one. It will become an invaluable tool in your drumming.

I also think you need to slow down just a little bit overall. If I remember correctly you are only about a month into lessons. Drumming is a lot more complicated than would first appear and it's going to take time to develop, rhythm, timing, different techniques, etc. It seems as if you are trying to rush things. Don't get ahead of yourself. (From one inpatient person to another - I know that's easier said than done, lol)

Just enjoy the journey :) Good luck!
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
Basically it doesn't matter at all. Rhythm is a learned skill, the more you practice and the harder you work at it the better you get. But if you can put a basic beat together you have rhythm. Out of all the drummers in the world, I know of 2 that have natural talent beyond us average humans, natural talent does not matter, dedication and motivation are what will take you to your goals. Also don't worry about how fast you progress, there is no normal and its not a race, its about expression, though it helps to think in terms of 6 month chunks.
 
Yes Mary.. i am kind of jumping the gun.. I do have many metrenomes. I used to do hours a day using it for guitar abd found it real easy to use.

we are just reading now and we have not gotten into using a metrenome yet.
however, i did break out my metrenome to see if i could keep a beat to it and i fuond its harder to do a beat (complex for me that is) going real slow than fast. I remember on guitar that it was harder too and the key to guitar was percision and starting real slow and working up slowley.

I have been working on my material and yes i do tend to jump the gun out of habbit.
I suppose when im done practicing that trying to play Led Zepplin is prob not the best idea LMAO
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
dance

I'm serious

by shaking your tail feather and filling the gaps of the groove with your body you tap into your rhythmic potential
 
Basically it doesn't matter at all. Rhythm is a learned skill.
I disagree!

As with many gifts, artistic, athletic, academic, a person is born with these abilities.

How far they want to take them after receiving that gift is up to the individual.

I can line up 100 random folk, and maybe 2 can keep a beat, or paint a worthy picture, or hit a 95 mph fastball.

If you are a drummer, consider yourself a gifted person
 
Even if you have limited rhythm to begin with, it can be learned.. Almost all people I've taught don't have crazy rhythmic abilities.. As long as you can count out loud evenly.. you can learn rhythm.. The only person that was unsuccessful playing in time and having decent rhythm was a girl with M.S. But she could still play "We will rock you" by Queen well enough to pull of her christmas concert..
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Even if you have limited rhythm to begin with, it can be learned..
I agree with this to an extent

I have come across quite a few people in my life that will never have rhythm no matter how hard they try
 
I agree with this to an extent

I have come across quite a few people in my life that will never have rhythm no matter how hard they try

"Learning" means that you have to try...If you have someone who doesn't listen or do anything you tell them to do.. They aren't learning,... You may be putting out the effort for them to learn.. But if they don't it won't happen.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
there is a difference between playing a rhythm .....and having "rhythm"

big difference

Michael Jackson had "rhythm" without ever playing a rhythm on an instrument

this guy plays a rhythm on an instrument without actually having "rhythm"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq1tqXjL-y8&t=3m18s

anyone can learn to play a rhythm ....or many rhythms .......and with enough work can get quite good at it ....and probably sound fine and make a band sound fine

this does not mean they have "rhythm"

see what I'm getting at here?

there are a few well known drummers ....whom I will not name because I don't want this to turn into that kind of thread.....who play lots of rhythms....often complex rhythms ....and hell ...they play them really well....and make their respective bands sound great .

but these few drummers I am thinking of don't necessarily have "rhythm" to me .....like say ...an Al Jackson, a Steve Jordan ,a Zig Modeliste, or a "Pistol" Allen does for example


I believe anyone can be taught to play any rhythm....and play it well.....I do it on a daily basis

but I also believe "rhythm" is something someone is either born with or will just never have

know what I'm saying?
 
That's just a degree of quality that you require for it to be up to your standards..

I agree with you that some people sound better than others..

Rhythm is a funny thing.. If I put Nick Barker in the Meteors,.. It would probably suck..
But If I put Zigaboo in Dimu Borgir,, It would suck as as well..

Neal Peart in the Stones would be rotten, So would Charlie watts in Rush.. Both have rhythm... both sound great in their fields..
 
Well i guess what my original post was trying to get at is this..

I have played guitar in many bands fro years and had the pleasure to work with many amazing drummers. Me being a musician really does not mean i have natural rhythm..

I guess what im leading up to is this.. The drum teacher gave me a couple of tests to see where my abbilities stand.. I could play a 4/4 beat real easy with a metrenome set at many different speeds.. Also only playing for lets say 4 weeks i can hear and play a simple song like Sweet Child o mine (rock) and kind of keep up... But however lots of my fills suck and i even have a reaaaal hard time playing fills on just snare and bass drum i fall apart all the time

I can hear the beat in my head and just try to copy it and my musical backround helps.

I know there are some drum instructors posting
See i used to go to a jam camp for kids long ago and i would see certain KIDS just get behind the drums that were beginers and is was amazing what they could do at such a young age... I guess this thread is bassically about NATURAL ability to hear and execute without really being taught..

Great question for you instructors.. Is it natural music ability or is it Natural Rhythm that makes the learnig curve much easier for some? Is it Corrdination? But i have seen some kids that could blow me out of the water that are just starting.. DO they have Natural rhythm? does being born with natural rhythm accelerated a drummers learning curve?

Sorry to turn this into a debate im just curious
 
It's hard to say what makes someone a "natural".. Is it behind the scenes exposure to music from their environment from a baby, or starting lessons from a competent teacher from scratch so they fast track the process without learning bad habits..

It could also be learning at the right time in life.. If you play another instrument and understand many things mentally it doesn't mean you can do them on drums without the time spent in the right way.. All to often people want to go be great at something too quickly..

I have a fairly sophisticated sense of rhythm,. I know some chords on the guitar..However I can't even change chords in time with a simple song. Because I haven't spent the time needed to gain the muscle memory of the chord switching.. In my mind I know what is supposed to happen but can't do it. In some ways that's a hindrance to know what is supposed to happen, because you want so bad to get there and expect it to happen easily..

In the end it's time spent that gets you anywhere.. Stream lining the time spent is what will get you there faster..Seeing someone young play something better than you can can make you say they are a natural.. But It could be that they had more efficient training and spent way more time on playing than you have..

I find that to be the case with most people..
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
there is a difference between playing a rhythm .....and having "rhythm"

big difference

Michael Jackson had "rhythm" without ever playing a rhythm on an instrument

this guy plays a rhythm on an instrument without actually having "rhythm"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq1tqXjL-y8&t=3m18s

anyone can learn to play a rhythm ....or many rhythms .......and with enough work can get quite good at it ....and probably sound fine and make a band sound fine

this does not mean they have "rhythm"

see what I'm getting at here?

there are a few well known drummers ....whom I will not name because I don't want this to turn into that kind of thread.....who play lots of rhythms....often complex rhythms ....and hell ...they play them really well....and make their respective bands sound great .

but these few drummers I am thinking of don't necessarily have "rhythm" to me .....like say ...an Al Jackson, a Steve Jordan ,a Zig Modeliste, or a "Pistol" Allen does for example


I believe anyone can be taught to play any rhythm....and play it well.....I do it on a daily basis

but I also believe "rhythm" is something someone is either born with or will just never have

know what I'm saying?
This gels with my intuition. Just looking at people (including drummers) ... the way they move, the way they speak, the way they move through life, I definitely get a sense of a person's innate sense of rhythmic confidence and poise (or lack).

I expect natural rhythmic aptitude would follow a Bell Curve. I feel like my natural ability would probably be in the high end of average amongst women and around average overall - anything extra I may have has come from sheer enthusiasm.
 

lowdowner

Senior Member
Isn't this all about 'degree' rather a binary 'have it or not'?

This is one of the first questions I asked my bass teacher - so it's not unique to drummers.

The 'gift' that some mention is the rare inner sense of knowing where the pulse is, and where your beats are relative to that pulse regardless of the simplicity or complexity or speed of a groove? It's not really learnt (or the learning occurs early in your life when you don't even know it's happening). If you have this, you will learn to play drums or bass, or learn to dance much more quickly and reach a higher level much more easily than most. It's something difficult to define, but easy to hear when someone has this once you have some experience of trying to develop rhythm for yourself and actually start to listen for it in others. For some the gift is strong, and for some it's weak, and for most it's not there at all.

For most, having rhythm is not blessed with this gift and it's about learning to put a groove together whilst keeping track of the pulse inside your head - actually counting or rocking or moving to the pulse, and keeping the beat working around the pulse by thinking about it. Over time your inner counting becomes quieter and less obvious. Almost anyone can develop this - their music might not be as 'musical' (maybe not the right word - maybe 'inspiring' or 'genius') because we compare it with those with 'the gift' but it can still be pretty damn fine to listen to.

Rhythm is a weird philosophical thing - but for the OP i'd say, most people can learn to 'have rhythm' to the extent to make them a fine musician. If you're one of the luck few (very few) with natural 'inner rhythm' then lucky you :)
 
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